It’s not ground-breaking news that when it comes to romantic dalliances, like so much else in life, we’re creatures of habit.
Old Friend is essentially a serial monogamist, moving straight from one longish relationship to the next in a matter of weeks, with - to paraphrase another friend - periods of ‘serial sluttishness’ in between.
Me, I’m more disastrous. I tend to dally long enough to discover I quite like someone before spectacularly screwing things up (don’t ask me how: I don’t know either).
And Speckled Lad? Well, Speckled’s behaviour continues to be unfailingly bad. His foibles when it comes to flirtations past and previous have been well-documented. And, I’m not entirely thrilled but unsurprised to say, he’s showing no signs of changing his spots.
It was several weeks ago now that I was in the pub with Hot Flyer Boy, waiting for Speckled to unstick himself from the motorway traffic that was delaying him from starting his Home Counties weekend. An hour or so, and some post-work, on-train applied eyeliner later (I know, cardinal sin, I know), and I was sitting outside the local Italian with Speckled Lad and a bottle of red.
Not having seen each other since he commissioned (and he got grumpy with me for flirting with boys), there was much to talk about. So, we poured ourselves a glass each and caught up on each other’s lives. I told him about exciting new clients and he told me a load of stuff I didn’t understand about firing things from tanks. We discussed his plans to buy a house and a speedy new car once he heads out to European Base; as this was pre-that text message, I told him about Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Speckled then mentioned, briefly and somewhat sheepishly, the girl he had been seeing for months since commissioning (the fact he’d not previously mentioned hide nor hair of a hint of her is par for the Speckled course).
A little more red and supper later, we found ourselves back on my sofa, indulging in a couple of late night Laphroigs.
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my cheek and warm whisky breath on my lips.
“Speckled, no…” I pushed him away and raised an eyebrow.
“What?” He leant towards me.
“No, I’m seeing someone.”
“So? So am I… But only till I leave.”
I've chosen not to think too closely about the fact that Speckled still seems to think that an acceptable way of ending a relationship is to leave the country.
And a recent dinner party was not much different. As with apparently all Blonde dinner parties, there was not only dinner, but more drinks before brunch the following day and an afternoon in front of films with tea and homemade cookies.
“So, what time did everyone leave eventually?” Best Mate asked on the phone on the Monday evening, having been one of the earlier departures around 2pm.
“Ooh, about 24 hours after they arrived,” I said, staring into the fridge working out how on earth I was going to eat all the leftover cheese before it went off.
“Hah. I bet that pissed Speckled off. Given his flirting on Saturday night, and the fact that he spent most of the morning looking like he was willing everyone to leave so you two could just have sex already” (Best Mate: telling it like it is since 1998).
“Hmm. Well, he might well have been willing that. Sadly for him, I was just less willing full stop. Seriously. When is he going to learn?!”
The answer to that? I doubt he ever will.